The Reality of Immanuel

posted 8 Dec 2017, 03:30 by C S Paul

The Reality of Immanuel

- Unknown -

"How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, His precepts!" —Benjamin Franklin

I have to be honest, I really do love the holiday called Christmas. Our church is a beehive of activity. Our home is a menagerie of laughter and friends and family. I love the food. I love the decorations. I love the way Christmas smells. And who can argue with a couple of cool presents under the tree with my name on it!? Not a bad way to observe Someone's birthday.

Yes, the holiday works for me… IF I stay mindful of the core precept behind its observance AND if I'm willing to put that precept into practice. In that sense, Christmas is really just another day. It’s one more special day to revel in the wonderful mystery of Emmanuel, God with us. The fact is, God is with us, and the command given to Joshua is the command to us as well:

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." —Joshua 1:9

So yeah, I’m looking forward to the holiday. It's another day to release my battles and my fears and my self-righteousness. It’s just another day to embrace the incredible love of God and celebrate the reality of His presence in my life. Yes, Emmanuel, “God is with us.” That truth makes every day a celebration!

Jesus, thank you for this holiday. I praise You for one more day to experience the promise of Your presence. Because You are in me, I trust You to be strong; I trust You to be my courage. Thank you that You are with me wherever I go. Amen

The Christmas Story: Does It Still Matter? - 1

posted 1 Dec 2017, 07:49 by C S Paul   [ updated 1 Dec 2017, 07:51 ]

Eight reasons why the original Christmas story matters

First, A Story that Has Endured

For two millennia, people have told of the child in a Bethlehem manger; of angels who announced his birth to shepherds; of learned men who traveled a great distance to view him.

That a story persists for many years does not prove its truthfulness. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy survive in the popular imagination. But a twenty-century tenure at least merits our consideration. What deep human longings does the Christmas story portray? Why has it connected so profoundly with millions of people? Is the story factual? Curiosity prompts further investigation.

Second, the Christmas story is also . . .

A Story of Hope and Survival

Jesus’ society knew great pain and oppression. Rome ruled. Corrupt tax collectors burdened the people. Some religious leaders even sanctioned physical beating of Jewish citizens participating in compulsory religious duties.

Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary traveled a long distance to Bethlehem to register for a census but could not obtain proper lodging. Mary bore her baby and laid him in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. Eventually, King Herod sought to kill the baby. Warned of impending risk, Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt, then returned home after Herod’s death.

Imagine how Mary felt. Traveling while pregnant would be challenging. Fleeing to another nation lest some king slay your son would not be pleasant. Yet she, Joseph, and Jesus survived the ordeal.

In the midst of social and cultural challenges, the Christmas story offers hope and encouragement toward survival, hope of new life linked to something—someone—greater than oneself. One of Jesus’ followers said Jesus’ “name . . . [would] be the hope of all the world.”

So, the Christmas story is important because it has endured and because it speaks of hope and survival.

Reason number three: the Christmas story is . . . (to be continued next week)


posted 15 Sep 2017, 03:31 by C S Paul


Imagine there is a bank, which credits your account each morning with Rs 86,400, carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every pence, of course!

Well, everyone has such a bank. Its name is Time.

Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the records of the day.
If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.

There is no going back. There is no drawing against the "tomorrow."

Therefore, there is never not enough time or too much time. Time management is decided by us alone and nobody else. It is never the case of us not having enough time to do things, but the case of whether we want to do it.

Remember to put the glass down!

posted 25 Aug 2017, 23:20 by C S Paul

Remember to put the glass down!
Author Unknown

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: ”How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

Figure it out for yourself

posted 11 Aug 2017, 22:24 by C S Paul

Figure it out for yourself 
By Edgar A. Guest

Figure it out for yourself, my lad,
You’ve all that the greatest of men have had,
Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes
And a brain to use if you would be wise.
With this equipment they all began,
So start for the top and say, “I can.”

Look them over, the wise and great
They take their food from a common plate,
And similar knives and forks they use,
With similar laces they tie their shoes.
The world considers them brave and smart,
But you’ve all they had when they made their start.

You can triumph and come to skill,
You can be great if you only will.
You’re well equipped for what fight you choose,
You have legs and arms and a brain to use,
And the man who has risen great deeds to do
Began his life with no more than you.

You are the handicap you must face,
You are the one who must choose your place,
You must say where you want to go,
How much you will study the truth to know.
God has equipped you for life, but He
Lets you decide what you want to be.

Courage must come from the soul within,
The man must furnish the will to win.
So figure it out for yourself, my lad.
You were born with all that the great have had,
With your equipment they all began,
Get hold of yourself and say: “I can.”

A Love Relationship - That is Christianity

posted 28 Jul 2017, 04:01 by C S Paul   [ updated 28 Jul 2017, 04:02 ]

 A Love Relationship - That is Christianity

You cannot love someone that you do not know, and you cannot know someone that you don’t spend quality time with.

To know Jesus is to love Him. To love Him is to trust Him. To trust Him is to obey Him. To obey Him is to be blessed. It begins with a daily, quality communication with the Lord.

Why is it best to spend time with the Lord in the morning? Because you are getting ready to go on a road trip through life. You don’t take the trip and then read the map, do you?

How are you starting your mornings? With a cup of coffee and the paper? Or with the pure milk of the Word and the light of His presence?

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing.

Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. -- Psalm 5:1-3

Benefits of growing older

posted 14 Jul 2017, 23:24 by C S Paul   [ updated 14 Jul 2017, 23:58 ]

Benefits of growing older

Are You Wiser Today Than You Were Yesterday?
By Michael Josephson 

Do you think you're any wiser today than you were five years ago? 

Do you think you'll be wiser still in another five years? 

I hope the answer to both questions is an emphatic "yes." 

One of the benefits of growing older is getting better. And we get better by learning.

I'm not just talking about new facts, like how a volcanic eruption in Iceland can prevent airline traffic in most of Europe.

I'm talking about learning basic nuggets of wisdom that can change our lives.

For starters, I've learned that as long as I'm willing to learn, I can learn, and the fact that I'm wiser today doesn't mean I was foolish or incompetent before.

I've learned that you don't have to be sick to get better.

I've learned that no matter how old I am, my life and character are works in process and that there will always be a gap between who I am and who I want to be.

I've learned that it's easy to mask moral compromises with rationalizations and that my character is revealed not by my words or intentions but by my willingness to do the right thing even when it costs more than I want to pay.

I've learned that my character is more important than my competence and that being significant is more important than being successful.

I've learned that I often judge myself by my good intentions but that I'll be judged by my last worst act.

I've learned that the surest road to happiness is good relationships and that striving to be a good person is the surest road to good relationships.

Finally, I've learned that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional and that it's not what happens to me that matters most but what happens in me.

After You Conquer The World ?

posted 6 Jul 2017, 23:24 by C S Paul   [ updated 6 Jul 2017, 23:25 ]

After You Conquer The World ?
Author Unknown  
There once lived a powerful king who undertook an expedition to conquer foreign lands. 

His wise counselor asked him, "Great king, to what purpose do you set out on this endeavor?" 

"To become master of Asia", the king replied. "And then what?" asked the counselor. 

"I shall invade Arabia", said the king. 

"And after that?" "I shall conquer Europe and Africa; and finally, when the whole world is under me, I shall rest and live at ease." 

To this the wise counselor retorted, "But what keeps you from resting and living at ease here and now, if that is all you want? You could settle down this very day without the trouble and risks."


posted 30 Jun 2017, 03:56 by C S Paul


By James Fisher Jr

  • To have a friend, you must be a friend, starting with yourself.
  • The greatest hunger a person has is to be needed. Help create that feeling in others.
  • The greatest virtue is kindness. You can't love everyone, but you can be kind to everyone.
  • Don't try to impress others. Let them have the fun of impressing you.
  • Be enthusiastic. Nothing of consequence was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
  • Be positive. Positive people attract others, while negative people repel.
  • You have greater impact on others by the way you listen than by the way you talk.
  • Gossip cheapens the one who gossips more than the one gossiped about.
  • Call a person by his or her name and use it often in conversation. 
  • Communicate cheerfulness.
  • Differences are bound to occur and can be resolved if conflict is managed in a polite manner.
  • If you are given to making fun of someone, be sure it is of yourself. 
  • Be genuinely interested in others. Get them to talk about themselves. 
  • A smile doesn't cost anything and pays big dividends. It makes you and everyone else feel better.
  • Be the first to say: "Hello! Good to see you."
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • The golden rule is where it all begins and ends.


posted 23 Jun 2017, 03:04 by C S Paul


by Don Head

A Smile

May brighten up a cloudy day

Can make you feel good

Sometimes a hurt will disappear

Here’s hoping that more would

Heart welcomes what the eyes can see

An attitude could change

Inside warms from its glowing beam

No matter what the range

Like sun, but won’t affect your sight

Nor will it harm your skin

Can instantly bring happiness

Shine starts out as a grin

A smile can do all of this

Reflects a person’s grace

Less work with fewer muscles used

Makes an attractive face

And last but not least, one more thing

Kind of contagious too

Puts it back on the viewer’s face

When it is seen, it’s true

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